Archive for February 2020

‘Elizabeth’ gets her own ‘Way’ in The Very One at Gulfstream

John McCormack’s Elizabeth Way remained undefeated in two starts in the U.S. Saturday at Gulfstream Park after registering a front-running victory in the Grade 3, $150,000 The Very One Stakes.

The The Very One, a 1 3/16-mile turf race for older fillies and mares, was one of 10 stakes, including nine graded stakes, worth $1.95 million on Saturday’s fantastic 14-race program that concluded with the running of the $400,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth (G2), a key prep for the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1) March 28.

Elizabeth Way ($30.80), who was winless in five starts in Ireland, had previously won her first career race with an off-the pace score in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight race at Gulfstream Jan. 18.

Click here to read from Horse Racing Nation

The royally bred 4-year-old daughter of Frankel, who is trained by Roger Attfield, employed opposite tactics Saturday, quickly establishing the lead on the front-stretch on her way to setting fractions of 23,76 and 48.9 seconds for the first half-mile with only mild pressure to her outside by English Affair. The Irish-bred filly continued to show the way around the far turn before heavy pressure developed behind her on the turn into the homestretch. Although her pursuers were in full flight in the stretch, Elizabeth Way was able to kick away to score by 1 ¼ lengths.

La Signare finished second under Tyler Gaffalione, a neck ahead of Romantic Pursuit and Joe Bravo.

Elizabeth Way ran 1 3/16 miles over a firm turf course in 1:54.25.

“The plan was to just let her run her race; it was as simple as that,” winning trainer Roger Attfield said later.”The gentleman that owns the horse [John McCormack] was really keen to do this and I still think that she’s going to be better as she goes farther. When she popped out of there, we were just hoping that maybe she could get some black type. She’s been training super well the last 10 days, so it didn’t really surprise me that she’d run really well, but I didn’t think she’d do it all the way on the lead.”

Cookie Dough tastes sweet victory in Gulfstream’s Royal Delta

Arindel’s homebred Cookie Dough, who had gamely finished second or third in five of six previous graded stakes, got the elusive grade Saturday at Gulfstream Park when she won the Grade 3, $150,000 Royal Delta by three-quarters of a length over Golden Award.

Saddled by Saffie Joseph Jr. for the first time and ridden by Paco Lopez, Cookie Dough, a 4-year-old daughter of Brethren by Brooke’s Valentine, covered the 1 1/16 miles over a sloppy track in 1:43.57.

Cookie Dough, who won the $400,000 My Dear Girl Division of the Florida Sire Stakes in 2018, had finished a game second last year in the Rampart (G3), Victory Ride (G3) and Davona Dale (G2) and third in the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) and Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2).

Click here to read from Horse Racing Nation

“I’m very proud of her,” said Joseph. “She came from [trainer] Stan Gold. Her form spoke for itself. We just hoped we could get her to run as good as Stan because Stan did a great job.”

Cookie Dough, who has always been forwardly placed and usually on the lead, broke from the No. 6 post and was taken back to second off a :23.26, 46.68 pace set by Tweeting. But approaching the final turn, Lopez moved Cookie Dough past the leader to the front. An objection by jockey Tyler Gaffalione on Golden Award for interference entering the stretch was not allowed. Golden Award finished second, Queen Nekia third, and 2018 Gulfstream Park Oaks winner Coach Rocks was fifth. Restless Rider, second in the 2019 Ashland (G1), was sixth.

When asked if the plan was to rate Cookie Dough, Joseph said, “That was Paco. He came into the paddock and said he wanted to sit second. I said, ‘Paco, don’t premeditate it. Play the break.’ That was a good place to sit. She got a little tough. She’s tough in the morning.”

Cookie Dough, who has placed first, second or third in 10 of 13 starts, returned $5.20.

Alms Remains Unbeaten in Shantel Lanerie Stakes Stroll

Sent off as the 1-5 favorite against five sophomore filly rivals in the $58,200 Shantel Lanerie Memorial Overnight Stakes, Godolphin’s homebred Alms did not disappoint her many backers, proving much the best in the one-mile grass race over a course rated good.

Off alertly, the daughter of City Zip sat comfortably behind early leaders for the majority of the race with jockey Paco Lopez aboard. Turning for home, Lopez asked the Mike Stidham trainee for more and Alms responded, ranging up to the first flight before powering away to win by an increasing 4 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:39.32. Dominga closed well to be second and after threatening on the turn Pass the Plate flattened to third.

Click here to read from Blood Horse

After a win on debut at Belmont Park in September, Alms ($2.60) made her next two starts in graded stakes competition, winning both the Matron Stakes (G3) at Belmont in October, and the Jimmy Durante Stakes (G3) at Del Mar in November. The Shantel Lanerie Memorial marked four straight wins in as many starts for Alms, who has now banked $219,750.

“She’s a really nice filly,” said Paco Lopez, who won with three of his four mounts on the card. “Mike told me to try to slow her down early and make one run at the end. She jumped a little at the sixteenth pole but she evened out and galloped out well, she’s a really nice horse.”

“We had this race in mind just because we love running at Fair Grounds,” Stidham said. “It was a perfect race for her to kick off her 3-year-old campaign. The Florida Oaks (G3T, at Tampa Bay Downs) comes up about a month after (on March 7) this so it works out perfect. She’s very talented. I think the sky is the limit for her.”

“It’s an honor to win this race for such a beautiful person like Shantel,” Stidham said of Shantel Lanerie, the wife of jockey Corey Lanerie and race honoree who passed away two years ago from breast cancer complications. “We love her and we miss her.”

A Kentucky-bred, Alms is out of Charity Belle, an Empire Maker mare who won a group 3 in France and also produced multiple stakes winner Hallie Belle, by Medaglia d’Oro .

Field Pass finds room in Dania Beach; Cheermeister wires Sweetest Chant

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Before the Holy Bull was run Saturday at Gulfstream Park, a pair of $100,000 turf races, the Dania Beach and Sweetest Chant, were run over a course rated good, with both resulting in mild upsets. They were among five stakes, all for 3-year-olds, held on a 12-race card.

Dania Beach

Field Pass ($26.60) and jockey Paco Lopez squeezed through rivals in deep stretch when pushing past front-running Get Smokin for a hard-earned victory in the 11th running of the Dania Beach.

Making his first start in more than three months, Field Pass was winning for the first time since a maiden race at Saratoga in July. The Maryland-bred colt had run well in most of his four subsequent starts when going winless.

“He ran a great race today,” said Mike Maker, who trains the gray Lemon Drop Kid colt for the Three Diamonds Farm of Kirk Wycoff. “He ran to the expectations we had for him last year. The time off did him wonders.”

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The victory came one Saturday after Maker won the biggest turf race of the Gulfstream championship meet, the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf, with Zulu Alpha.

“So far, so good,” said a smiling Maker.

Field Pass saved ground through the first turn before tipping out near the half-mile pole. Deftly maneuvered by Lopez to the inside of South Bend, he finally got past Get Smokin by a neck when completing the one-mile distance in 1:35.70. Get Smokin saved second by a head over South Bend.

Homeland, the 8-5 favorite in a field of 10 colts and geldings, found traffic after turning for home and flattened out to finish eighth.

The next Gulfstream stakes in this division is the Grade 3 Palm Beach on Feb. 29.

Sweetest Chant

Cheermeister ($17.20) was sent straight to the front and never looked back, winning the Grade 3 Sweetest Chant by three-quarters of a length over a late-closing Micheline.

Rating kindly for Emisael Jaramillo, Cheermeister gave her trainer, Armando De La Cerda, his first graded victory since La Tia captured the Grade 1 Matriarch in November 2014.

“They went in 24-and-change for the opening quarter-mile,” noted De La Cerda, “and I know it’s pretty soft turf, but she was doing it so easy.”

With a quarter-mile to go, both favorites were poised to strike, but neither Moral Reasoning (3-2) nor She’s My Type (9-5) kicked on. Instead, it was Cheermeister motoring home to hold Micheline safe, with Ivyetsu also finishing well to be third in a field of eight fillies.

Cheermeister, owned by Teresa and David Palmer, finished a mile in 1:37.25 for her third triumph in four career starts. The Kentucky-bred daughter of Bodemeister also led gate to wire in the ungraded Wait a While on opening weekend of the Gulfstream championship meet before fading to 10th behind She’s My Type and Moral Reasoning in her lone subsequent start, the Jan. 4 Ginger Brew.

“She was much more relaxed today,” De La Cerda said.

The next Gulfstream stakes in this division is the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride on Feb. 29.

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